Day 6 kicked off with breakfast at Sunrise Grill around 8:00 am with the 2-2-2-2 (our go "2" pick). Two eggs, two strips of bacon, two sausage links and 2 pancakes - $5.89 -- What a country! We left there for the day's objective - Grandfather Mountain. It is literally within sight of The Lodge so today was a very low mileage outing. Grandfather Mountain was long thought to be the highest mountain in North Carolina until that was debunked in the mid-19th century and Mount Mitchell took its place. However, of the two in many ways it is the more impressive. There is a state park area that surrounds the mountain but the mountain proper is held in trust by a foundation and thus your two Ramblers had to part with $36 to get in. They do provide a nice CD describing the mountain as you drive to the top. We skipped ahead to the summit in order to visit the mile high swinging bridge - literally in the middle of the bridge is a 5,280 ft. marker.
One thing that makes Grandfather Mountain a better trip than Mount Mitchell is the multiple rock outcroppings to wander onto. Here are a couple. One has to appreciate some Ramblers natural aversion to heights and the personal sacrifice required o bring these pics to you. Enjoy.
We also did one of the short hikes. After our experience Monday you would have thought we were summiting Everest - packs, water, food, compass, satellite phone etc. It had some great overlooks as well with ladders and cables to help the climb.
We also visited the nature center and saw the bears and otter which were cool. All-in it was a good spot to visit and worth going back.
We left the mountain and headed to a place with the label "World's Best Sandwiches" - which I admire for the extremely high bar they set for themselves but it is a hard standard to meet. The sandwiches were very good (World's Best??? I don't know) and then went to visit the original Mast General Store in Vale Crucis. That pretty much sums up the day except for the killer nap I took. We are headed out to dinner in a few. Tomorrow we have decided to begin the journey home via Mount Rogers and Mecca (Blacksburg, VA).
Till then...keep rambling.